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Flute shopping

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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Chris Carr
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Flute shopping

Postby Chris Carr » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:31 pm

I recently sold my 1854 Rudall Rose, & Carte rosewood flute and have been shopping around for a replacement. I loved the Rudall, and would never have let it go if it were tuned to 440. I was on the mainland for work this last week and had the chance to try out a Muramatsu GX and a Sankyo 301. I found that while the Muramatsu was lovely in the middle and upper registers, I had a hard time sounding the low register with it. I was able to get a nice lower register with the Sankyo, but I had a hard time getting a tone I was happy with in the upper registers. TBH, I would have been sold on the Muramatsu if I could have gotten as nice a tone on the low end as the high. The middle and upper registers were just stellar.

That led me back to my hotel room where I started doing a bit more homework on other flutes I might like to try while I had the opportunity. I noticed on the Di Zhao website that all of their flutes are tuned to 442, which won't work for me. That led me a bit further down the rabbit hole, and I couldn't find any other manufacturer who openly said what the flutes were tuned to. Ultimately, I'll probably buy something used, as whatever I buy won't stay in new condition, and I'm happy to let someone else absorb the depreciation. The question is, where can I find tuning information? I'm just not willing to spend money on something that's not tuned to 440.

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pied_piper
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Re: Flute shopping

Postby pied_piper » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:04 pm

Many/most of the better flutes sold today are tuned to A442. This includes Muramatsu, Sankyo, Yamaha, DiZhao, and others. I play a Muramatsu tuned to A442 and I play all the time with groups that tune to A440. It's not a problem to adjust that small amount. The 2hz difference does not matter much because playing in tune with others is ultimately up to the player to listen and adjust accordingly.

That said, some manufacturers still produce or will produce a flute tuned to A440. In the used market, you might find a 20-30 year old used Muramatsu, Haynes, or Powell that is tuned to A440. Your best bet is to contact a reputable flute specialty store and tell them your requirements. They should be able to help you find a flute that will fit your needs.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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Chris Carr
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Re: Flute shopping

Postby Chris Carr » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:36 pm

It's frustrating that the Europeans continue to change tuning standards and the world follows. That's why there were so many problems in the 1800's. They finally decided enough was enough and settled on 440, but that obviously didn't last forever. There's never a time that I won't be playing with other folks here in the USA tuned to 440. I sold the Rudall because it was almost a half step sharp!

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Chris Carr
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:48 pm
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Re: Flute shopping

Postby Chris Carr » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:38 am

Many/most of the better flutes sold today are tuned to A442. This includes Muramatsu, Sankyo, Yamaha, DiZhao, and others. I play a Muramatsu tuned to A442 and I play all the time with groups that tune to A440. It's not a problem to adjust that small amount. The 2hz difference does not matter much because playing in tune with others is ultimately up to the player to listen and adjust accordingly.

That said, some manufacturers still produce or will produce a flute tuned to A440. In the used market, you might find a 20-30 year old used Muramatsu, Haynes, or Powell that is tuned to A440. Your best bet is to contact a reputable flute specialty store and tell them your requirements. They should be able to help you find a flute that will fit your needs.
Of course, you are right. I never really stopped to think about what a tiny difference 2hz is, and that's well within the adjustment range.


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